The National Institute of Building Sciences recently convened an executive Social Equity Roundtable, meeting with dozens of leaders to help move the needle on diversity, equity and inclusion in the built environment.
The late July meeting was a follow up to a December 2020 executive roundtable titled “Improving the Workforce of the Built Environment Through Social Equity.” The goal of these meetings is to discuss workforce, industry sustainability, review data and best practices and partnerships.
“We must work together as an industry to focus on steps that will impact real change,” says Lakisha A. Woods, CAE, president and CEO of NIBS. “Committing to take specific action as it relates to developing a diverse leadership pipeline is the key to future success.”
Next Steps and Group Commitments
NIBS will sign the PwC CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, joining 2,000 CEOs who have signed the pledge. The pledge aims to cultivate trusting workplaces that can have complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations; implement and/or expand unconscious bias education; and share best—and unsuccessful—practices.
NIBS also will compile and share best practices with industry leaders, who participated in the roundtable. The goal: To have all building industry organizations commit to the CEO Action Pledge and other recommended steps, including committing to building a diverse leadership team and promoting members, by the end of September.
After the December roundtable, NIBS partnered with independent market research and consulting firm Avenue M Group to study the current demographics and culture of the building industry. Among the findings: Sixty-five percent of respondents indicated it is important or extremely important to increase the diversity of the built environment.
- 43 percent of employed respondents indicated their company has a program or initiative dedicated to DEI.
- 28 percent of respondents indicated they have experienced discrimination or prejudice based on age.
- 66 percent of respondents indicated they have experienced discrimination or prejudice based on gender (women).